Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Mental health awareness week

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and supporting mental health in construction is extremely important to us here at FCE Projects. In this blog, we will open up this topic in more detail and discuss what we are doing at FCE to support our employees, what we could be dong better as an industry and how this relates to UN SDG Goal 3 Good Health & Wellbeing and finally, how you can get involved.

The Stigma

Professor Charles Egbu, President of the Chartered Institute of Builders (CIOB), states in the Foreword of the 2020 CIOB Understanding Mental Health in the Built Environment Report:

“In many industries, the social stigma around discussing mental health is fading. Unfortunately, the construction industry still has some catching up to do.”

He mentions that the construction industry has been making gradual safety improvements in the construction workforce, however, he feels mental health and well-being is still an ongoing “silent crisis”.

To help we must first understand – what are the causes? The findings from a major study of the mental health of self-employed construction workers and those working in small firms were conducted in June 2022 by Charity ‘Mates in Mind’.

“Our results showed that intense workloads, financial problems, poor work-life balance and COVID-19 pressures on the supply of materials combined to significantly raise stress and anxiety levels […] This mainly male workforce has long been known to contain workers who are reluctant to talk about their mental health.”

Employers and individuals must be aware of just how important it is to raise awareness about this issue to prevent it from being a “silent crisis”. The statistics below highlight why a change is needed within the construction industry:

  • Men working in construction are three times more likely to take their own lives than men on average. (Source: CIOB)
  • Four in five suicides are by men, with suicide the biggest cause of death for men under 35 (Source: UK Parliament)
  • In 2020, workers in construction were at some of the highest risk of suicide in the country, at 3.7 times higher than the national average (source: Office for National Statistics).

What can be done?

This begs the question – what more could we be doing as an industry to support our workers and address this crisis?

‘Mates in Mind’ suggests “Education and training are key […] by providing the skills, clarity and confidence to employers on how to raise awareness, improve understanding and address the stigma of mental ill-health.”

The 2022 Report from the CIOB suggests strong communication and leadership: “The communication and leadership of a team can have a huge impact on the workforce. Respondents of the survey highlighted how stressful it can be if there is poor communication between key decision makers, with 70% saying they had experienced moderate to extreme levels of stress over the past year.”

Taking Action – UN SDG Goal 3

As part of our commitment to The UN Compact Network, we have pledged to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals. The topic of mental health falls under UN SDG Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Target 3.4 – “by 2030, reduce by one-third premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being”.

The Sustainable Development Goals (‎SDGs)‎ aim to transform our world. They are a call to action to end poverty and inequality, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy health, justice and prosperity.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states “Without good mental health, people feel unable or less able to carry out activities of daily living, including self-care, education, employment and participation in social life. Therefore, investments in mental health are essential” (Mental Health Fact Sheet, 2018)

What are we doing?

Here at FCE, Good Health & Well-being of our employees and peers is an integral part of our business operations and internal culture. Our Office Administrator, Suzanne Putterill, has recently undergone Mental Health First Aider Training and is now a competent Mental Health First Aider (MHFA).

“I undertook the Mental Health First Aid course to help tackle the stigma and help everyone understand and prioritise their own mental health as well as the mental health of others. I know how to recognise a range of mental health conditions, how to start a supportive conversation and, when necessary, how to signpost a person to seek appropriate professional help. I am aware of the first aid action plan for mental health and how to put it in place. I can recognise and manage stress and also understand the impact of substance abuse. My aim is to implement a positive mental health culture in the workplace.”

Suzanne Putterill, MHFA

Having a trained first aider around to support our workforce with their mental or emotional well-being provides a safe place for them to have open and honest conversations about their mental health and well-being with someone who understands.

We know that having a healthy and happy team is essential for growing our business and we wanted to provide an avenue to support our employees’ good mental health and well-being. This is why we have invested in Sage Benefits where all employees have access to the following:

  • Hundreds of discounts on everyday items: Access to hundreds of discounts to make their money go further. From the weekly shop to holidays and days out there is something for everyone.
  • OnDemand GP appointments: Access to reliable medical advice, shorter waiting times with GP video consultations and prescriptions sent directly to local pharmacies.
  • 24 hour Employee Support line: Access to support and online advice for legal matters, debt, mental health, relationships etc.
  • Cycle To Work scheme: Helping our employees to save money on bikes and cycling accessories from Halfords for a cleaner, greener commute.

“We recognise that so many people nowadays are suffering with their mental health. It’s important as employers that we respond, and provide a workplace that promotes openness about the challenges our colleagues are facing.”

Tim Whitehill, ESG Director

What can you do?

This is just the start of our initiatives at FCE  to ensure there is good mental health amongst our workforce.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 will take place from 13th to 19th May, this years theme is “Movement”. Moving more has been proven to help increase your energy, reduce stress  boost and your self-esteem. Why not get outdoors this week to take some #MomentsForMovement.

You can find out ways to get involved here:


If you’ve been affected by any of the issues raised in this blog, mental health support is available. The Lighthouse Club can be contacted via email: or by phone: 0345 609 1956. Samaritans can be contacted at any time from any phone for free: 116 123.

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